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  • Cited by 2
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    Foley, Matt 2017. Haunting Modernisms. p. 169.

    Schaffner, Anna Katharina 2012. Modernism and Perversion. p. 89.

  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: May 2006

12 - Lawrence and psychoanalysis

from Part 2 - Contexts and critical issues

Why is it important to think about the connections between D. H. Lawrence and psychoanalysis? Although he was acquainted with a number of psychoanalysts, and despite his interest in the instinctual life of men and women, Lawrence was never in analysis and quite early on developed a dislike of those whom he called 'the Freudians'. Psychoanalysis was, in his lifetime, a relatively new science, and in his writings Lawrence demonstrates an awareness of and an interest in a range of contemporary scientific developments. It is no surprise, then, that he became familiar with, and wrote about, popular Freudianism, and was also aware of popular representations of Jung's work: this is evident from Lawrence's published Letters. The fact that Lawrence chose to refer negatively to Freud's theses or, more accurately, to his own versions of Freud's thought, is perhaps where critical interest begins. When his contemporaries began to interpret his novels (particularly Sons and Lovers in 1913) using Freud's hypotheses about the unconscious life of the writer, Lawrence began a period of strident resistance, most often in his letters, to this mode of reading. Such resistance, the stuff of psychoanalysis, is grist to his critics' mill, and many works of criticism since Lawrence's death have examined, and sought to demonstrate, the validity of psychoanalytic readings of his work. Less diagnostically, others have sought to evaluate the broader significance of his relation to the psychoanalytic and some have seen in his work a post-Freudian position.

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The Cambridge Companion to D. H. Lawrence
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999147
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